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Understanding Fire-Resistant and Flame-Retardant Fabrics

Building a public space will require you to follow specific government regulations. One of the most common safety rules that a public establishment should follow is using flame-resistant fabrics―whether it be for the curtains, beddings, or roller blinds they use.

If you own a school, hospital, theatre, or event space, the authorities will expect you to use flame-retardant backdrops that a fire marshall will check. This article will help you understand what you need to know about fabric flammability and its flame retardancy if you are not familiar with these materials. 

Fire-Resistant and Flame-Retardant Fabrics

Drapes are a common sight among public spaces. They are the lined and sometimes heavy fabrics that are added to obscure light or water. They also serve as a backdrop or a space separator in some rooms. The government will require any business owner to utilize fire-resistant or flame-retardant fabrics for these drapes and other building details, and here is why.

Fabrics are naturally susceptible to burning, but certain types are more repellent than others. These materials are called fire-resistant fabrics, as they are inherently resistant to catching fire and can also self-extinguish the flame. Some examples of these fabrics are wool, glass fibres, acrylic, polyester, nylon, and modacrylic. They can better resist ignition and high temperatures than other materials.  

Fabrics that do not belong to the same category get topically treated with chemicals to improve their flame-retardancy, making them fire-retardant fabrics. They are basically coated with chemicals to slow down ignition and reduce any fire hazard. Fabrics like cotton and linen are quick to catch fire, so they need to be treated to become safer to use.

These materials also require maintenance to ensure their functionality. Flame-retardant fabrics need to be tested against fire every year, and they also have to get treated again for maximum effect.

What Happens to a Fire-Retardant Fabric During Fire

Flame-retardant chemicals can be used on any type of fabric. When the treated fabric gets caught in a fire, it will automatically release gases and tars. The chemicals covering it will then react to these elements and will convert them into carbon char. This conversion is what lengthens the burning rate of the fabric. The longer they are exposed to a blazing fire, the more the coating will get worn off.

Fire-retardant fabrics are made to keep a fire at bay and give people enough time to put the flames out. They will eventually catch fire, but they help slow down the process. 


Although no fabric is one-hundred per cent fireproof, there are fire-resistant and fire-retardant textiles that you can use to increase your business's safety. Public spaces are designed to accommodate many people, making them more prone to accidents like fire. Using these types of materials for your school, hospital, or event space will give you fewer things to worry about. They are fabrics that can reduce the possibility of accidents and injuries. Find the right manufacturer for your fire-retardant fabrics to ensure protection. 

If you are looking for a supplier of fire-resistant curtains, hospital curtain track, beddings, or stage curtains, give us a call. We manufacture, supply, and install flame-retardant fabrics for the whole of the UK with materials that are certified to British and international standards. Contact us on 0330 111 8995 to know more about our offers.